Sunday 27 August 2023

Low Down Movie Review: A Compelling Exploration of Addiction and Jazz

Review of the Low Down Movie

Low Down Movie

What is Low Down Movie?

Low Down is a 2014 movie that tells the story of a young girl named Amy-Jo, who grows up in the shadow of her father Joe Albany, a talented but troubled jazz pianist in 1970s Los Angeles.

My Thoughts

The movie is a slow-burning drama that doesn't shy away from the realities of drug addiction and its impact on families. Elle Fanning delivers a standout performance as Amy-Jo, capturing the innocence and vulnerability of a young girl with an absent father. John Hawkes is equally impressive as Joe Albany, bringing to life the complexities and contradictions of a man struggling with addiction and the pressure to be a good father.

The movie's pacing is deliberate, allowing the audience to fully immerse themselves in the world of Joe Albany and his family. The cinematography is atmospheric, capturing the gritty, neon-lit world of 1970s Los Angeles.

Final Words

Overall, I would highly recommend Low Down to anyone looking for a thought-provoking drama that tackles complex themes with sensitivity and nuance. While it may not be the most uplifting movie out there, it's an important reminder that the impact of addiction extends far beyond the user and that family can be a source of both love and pain.

Plot Summary Review Low Down Movie

Low Down Movie

If you are a fan of independent drama, then Low Down might just be the movie for you. Directed by Jeff Preiss, this gritty film is based on Amy-Jo Albany’s memoir about growing up with her jazz pianist father, Joe Albany, during the 1960s and 1970s. The movie is set in Los Angeles, where Joe (played by John Hawkes) struggles with drug addiction and tries to make a comeback in his music career. Meanwhile, Amy-Jo (played by Elle Fanning) navigates life amidst the chaos of drugs and alcohol.

The movie’s plot is simple yet poignant, as it highlights the bond between father and daughter, despite the circumstances. The acting is superb, with Hawkes and Fanning delivering powerful performances that bring these characters to life. Aside from the main characters, the supporting cast also delivers strong performances, including Glenn Close as Joe’s mother and Peter Dinklage as a fellow musician.

Low Down’s cinematography effectively captures the setting, with its use of gritty visuals and muted colors that add to the film’s mood. The soundtrack, which features music from Joe Albany himself, also adds to the movie’s authenticity and emotional weight. Overall, Low Down is a moving film that highlights the struggles of addiction and the complexities of family relationships.

If you’re looking for a movie that offers a realistic portrayal of life’s hardships, combined with great performances and impressive technical elements, then Low Down is worth checking out. It’s a movie that stays with you long after the end credits roll.

Characters and their backgrounds Review Low Down Movie

Characters and their backgrounds Review Low Down Movie

Low Down is a movie that explores the life of pianist Joe Albany and his struggles with addiction. The film has a great cast of characters, each with their own unique and interesting background.

Firstly, there is Joe Albany, played by John Hawkes, whose character is the focus of the movie. Joe is a talented pianist, but unfortunately, he is struggling with addiction and has a hard time getting his life back on track. The character is compelling and empathetic, which makes the viewer root for him throughout the film.

Another standout character is Joe's girlfriend, played by Elle Fanning. She brings youth and innocence to the movie, and we see how her character is affected by Joe's addiction. She is naive and hopeful about their future together, which makes her character all the more tragic.

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There is also Joe's ex-wife, played by Lena Headey, who provides an interesting contrast to Fanning's character. She is older and more mature, having experienced life with Joe before his addiction took hold. Her character offers a glimpse into Joe's past and how he got to where he is now.

Last but not least, there is Joe's friend and fellow addict, played by Glenn Close. She is a veteran of addiction and has been through it all. Her character serves as a mentor to Joe and helps guide him through his struggles.

Overall, Low Down is a character-driven movie that excels in exploring the backgrounds and motivations of its characters. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in addiction and the effects it can have on a person's life.

Setting and Location Review of Low Down Movie

Low Down Movie Setting and Location

The Intro

Low Down is a movie that tells the story of a young girl who struggles to deal with life while growing up in the shadow of her jazz musician father who is addicted to heroin. Set in the 1970s, the movie captures the essence of that time period in America.

The Setting

One of the most striking things about Low Down is the way it captures the essence of the period in which it is set. The movie is set in both San Francisco and Los Angeles during the 1970s. The use of real-life locations helps to add authenticity to the story. The filmmakers were able to find and use original locations in both cities that were used during the time period, which helped to transport the viewer back in time.

The Locations

The filmmakers did a fantastic job in finding and utilizing locations to create an authentic 1970s vibe. There are numerous classic cars on display, period clothing, and the use of old-school gas stations, diners, and record stores. The design of the location is carefully crafted in a way that transports the viewer back in time and gives them a sense of what life was like in America during this time.

The Directing

Jeff Preiss, the director of Low Down, does an excellent job of setting the atmosphere of the time period. The film has a hazy, almost dreamlike quality that captures the sleepy, drugged-out vibe of the time period. The film has a slow pace that reflects the bohemian lifestyle of its characters. The director emphasizes this with long, lingering close-ups, which often focus on the actors' faces to capture the emotion of the moment.

The Conclusion

Low Down is a mesmerizing film that captures the essence of a particular time period with impeccable attention to detail. The use of authentic locations, period costumes, and fantastic direction help to showcase the turbulent lifestyle of the characters. If you are looking for an artistic movie that portrays life in America during the 1970s, Low Down is an excellent recommendation.

Cinematography and Visual Effects Review of "Low Down" Movie

Low Down Movie Cinematography and Visual Effects Review

Amazing Cinematography and Visual Effects

"Low Down" is a movie that showcases impressive cinematography and visual effects. The film's overall color grading is subtle and consistent, lending the movie a raw and real feel. The music was evenly balanced with the entire runtime, providing a perfect support system throughout the movie. The camera work is quite mesmerizing and intriguing at the same time.

Captivating Scenery

The scenic views and landscapes played a crucial role in carrying the story forward. From the bustling city streets to the serene atmosphere of San Francisco, the cinematography transports you to different places, allowing you to feel like you are right there with them.

The Visual Effects That Enhance the Experience

The visual effects are another standout aspect of this movie. They were applied smartly, enhancing the movie without overpowering the engaging storyline. The incorporation of visual effects was very subtle, but it was effective in creating an immersive movie experience.

All in all, the visual effects and cinematography in "Low Down" are truly remarkable. The movie provides an excellent display of the art of film making. It's a good example of how a combination of cinematic techniques, poignant music, and storytelling can lead to a successful movie that thoroughly captures the audience's attention. Recommended to anyone who loves to get lost in an experience – it's worth it, trust us!

Sound and Music Review Low Down Movie

Sound and Music Review Low Down Movie

The Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Low Down is perhaps the best thing about the movie. Jazz pianist/composer, Andy Bearkman, scored the film beautifully, using his piano to capture the mood and emotions of the characters. The songs are moody but light, which makes them beautiful yet melancholic. The sound quality of the songs is great and the mix between the songs and the dialogue is spot on.

The Sound Effects

The sound effects in Low Down are pretty standard and nothing out of the ordinary stands out. The ambient noises and background sounds are there but do not necessarily add anything significant to the movie. In one scene, there is a great sound effect of a vinyl record player, which enhances the mood of the scene and helps immerse the audience in the era of the movie.

The Opening Theme

The opening theme of Low Down is a piano piece that sets the mood of the entire film. While it is a beautiful piece of music, it is overused and sometimes feels too heavy-handed. However, the opening sequence fits perfectly with the music and imagery, making it a strong and memorable start.

The Final Verdict

Overall, the soundtrack and music in Low Down is a major highlight of the film. It is subtle yet impactful, and perfectly captures the mood and era of the movie. While the sound effects and opening theme are not anything extraordinary, they add to the film's overall atmosphere. If you are a fan of jazz music or simply appreciate a good score in a movie, Low Down's music will not disappoint.

Themes and messages conveyed Review Low Down Movie

Low Down Movie

Low Down is a movie that explores the life of a jazz pianist, Joe Albany, and his relationship with his daughter, Amy-Jo. The movie is set in Hollywood in the 1970s, where drug addiction was rampant, and jazz music was still popular. The film delves into important themes, such as love, sacrifice, addiction, and the pursuit of dreams.

One central message conveyed in Low Down is the destructive nature of drug addiction. The movie depicts how drug addiction can ruin a person's life, relationships, and career. Joe Albany, a talented jazz musician, loses everything to his addiction, including his wife, his career, and eventually his death. The film serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of addiction and how it can take away everything that is dear.

Another important theme explored in Low Down is the power of love and sacrifice. Despite Joe's struggles with addiction, his daughter, Amy-Jo, never gives up on him. She is always there to support him, even when he cannot support himself. The profound love that Amy-Jo has for her father demonstrates the strength and power of the human bond. The movie underscores the importance of family and the lengths we will go to for the ones we love.

In addition to the above-mentioned themes, the movie also highlights the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Joe Albany had a passion for jazz and was willing to risk everything to pursue it. Although his addiction impeded his career, he never gave up on his dream of playing music. The pursuit of dreams is a powerful motivating force that drives us to achieve our goals in life.

Overall, Low Down is a compelling movie that explores important themes and messages. It conveys a powerful message about addiction and the value of family and pursuing one's dreams. It is a moving and poignant film that is well worth a watch.

Critical Reception and Reviews of the Low Down Movie

Low Down Movie Review

The Low Down movie has gained quite the attention since its release, with mixed reviews from critics and viewers alike. Some praised its genuine portrayal of musicians in the jazz scene, while others criticized the plot for being lackluster.

One critic from The Guardian stated that the film "gets the look and general tone of the late '60s scene just right, but never quite delivers a gripping story," while another from Variety praised the performances of the cast, particularly John Hawkes' portrayal of jazz pianist Joe Albany.

Despite criticisms, the film was highly praised for its soundtrack, featuring iconic jazz artists like Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins. Rolling Stone even went as far as to call it "one of the best movie soundtracks of the year."

It's clear that the Low Down movie may not be for everyone, but for those with a love for jazz music and a peek into the world of musicians during the late '60s and early '70s, it's worth the watch. Overall, it's a well-acted and visually appealing film with a solid soundtrack that makes up for its flaws in storytelling.

In conclusion, the Low Down movie has received mixed reviews from critics and viewers, with its soundtrack being a standout aspect. Despite criticisms of its plot, it's worth the watch for those interested in a genuine portrayal of the jazz scene during the late '60s and early '70s.

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review Low Down Movie

Box Office Performance and Awards Won Review Low Down Movie

Box Office Performance

"Low Down" is a 2014 American biopic film about the life of a jazz pianist named Joe Albany. Despite receiving high praise at film festivals, the movie did not perform well at the box office. It grossed only a little over $106,000 worldwide against its budget of $2 million. However, the film's poor box office performance was not a reflection of its quality.

Awards Won

"Low Down" received critical acclaim for its compelling story and outstanding performances by its cast. The film won the Cinematography Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Additionally, John Hawkes, who played Joe Albany, was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and the film's cinematographer, Christopher Blauvelt, was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography.


While "Low Down" did not perform well at the box office, its critical acclaim and recognition at various film festivals speak to the film's high quality. The story of Joe Albany's life, complete with his struggles with drug addiction, is both engaging and heartbreaking. The cast's performances were outstanding, particularly that of John Hawkes. The cinematography is also worth noting as it captures the gritty feel of the 1970s Hollywood music scene perfectly.

In conclusion, "Low Down" may not have been a commercial success, but it is a movie worth watching. Its story, performances, and cinematography make it a compelling and emotional journey that is worth the investment of time. While it may not be a box office hit, it certainly won the hearts of critics and film festival attendees.

Conclusion Review Low Down Movie

movie reel

Low Down is an indie drama film that takes a closer look into the life of a jazz pianist, Joe Albany played brilliantly by John Hawkes. Set in the 70s, the film showcases the struggles of Joe with his drug addiction and how it affects the people around him, especially his daughter played by Elle Fanning.

Overall, the film is a somber yet poignant reflection of Joe Albany's life. The outstanding performances from the actors, especially Hawkes and Fanning, made the story more compelling. The cinematography also deserves praise for capturing the gritty and raw atmosphere of the 70s.

The slow pacing of the film may not appeal to everyone, but it ultimately adds to the character study. Director Jeff Preiss succeeds in bringing to life the biopic of one of the unsung heroes of jazz music. The film is a must-watch for fans of jazz or for anyone interested in character-driven dramas.

In conclusion, Low Down is a well-crafted film that delves into the struggles of a musician's life with addiction. It showcases outstanding performances of the actors and great cinematography work that sets the tone of the era. Though it may not be everyone's cup of tea, it is still an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking film.

Low Down Movie Review: An Authentic and Heartfelt Depiction Of A Jazz Musician's Life

Low Down is a biographical film about the life of jazz pianist Joe Albany, portrayed by John Hawkes. The movie is based on the memoirs of Albany's daughter, Amy Albany, who is played brilliantly by Elle Fanning. Directed by Jeff Preiss, Low Down is a poignant portrayal of the life of an artist, his struggles, and his relationships.

The movie is set in the 1960s and 1970s and captures the essence of the jazz music scene of that period. With its exceptional cinematography and use of color, the movie creates a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere that transports the audience to a different era.

John Hawkes delivers an exceptional performance in the role of Joe Albany. He brings to life the struggles of a musician, his addiction to drugs, and the impact it has on his relationships. Elle Fanning also shines in her portrayal of Amy Albany, capturing the essence of a young girl's journey, growing up in a world of music and drugs.

The movie is not your average biopic, but a highly authentic and heartfelt depiction of a complex and troubled musician's life. It draws you into the world of jazz and gives you a sense of what it means to dedicate your life to music and art.

The supporting cast is also exceptional, including Glenn Close, who plays Joe Albany's mother, and Peter Dinklage, who plays a close friend of Joe. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, adding to the authenticity of the film.

In conclusion, Low Down is a must-see movie for anyone who loves jazz or is interested in biographical films. It is a beautiful and powerful movie that will leave you feeling moved and inspired. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Please share this information with others so they can also experience the beauty of this movie.

Until next time, happy watching!

Review Low Down Movie